Many consultants chose to go into business for themselves and open consulting firms. De- pending on the particular consultant’s expertise and background, the firm’s service offerings vary
drastically. However, a consultant’s knowledge and
experience are not synonymous with marketing savvy.
Here are vital considerations for contemporary consulting firms seeking a strategic marketing approach
for business development efforts.
• Align Marketing Toward the Organizational Strat-
egy. Regardless of the firm’s size, leaders must align the
marketing program to fit the organizational design and
strategy of the firm. Marketing programs will undoubt-
edly vary based on the number of consultants, the struc-
ture of the organization, the industry being served, and
the consultant’s location. A strategic leader must under-
stand the vision of the firm and the target audience so
that marketing efforts are purposefully developed. This
alignment allows for targeted initiatives. Consider the
ability to hone digital tools including AdWords, social
media, and search marketing for example.
• Develop a Strategic Marketing Perspective. No
longer is marketing limited to printed sell sheets, sales
brochures, or branded folders. The consulting industry
is notorious for historically relying on these types of
sales materials and claiming that those materials are
the marketing effort. During this age of technology
and digital tools, the possibilities related to strategic
marketing have exponentially expanded over the past
several decades. It is essential for contemporary
consulting firms to capitalize on the value that
marketing provides in the business development process. A strategic marketing approach leads the firm’s efforts to acquire
clients as they move prospects through the
• Identify Relevant Messages. Messaging is one of the most critical components of strategic marketing. When developing messaging for the firm:
• Identify the key services the firm offers
• Identify the target audiences that fit the busi-
ness development targets
• Create the relevant primary, secondary, and
These messages serve as the driver
of all the strategic marketing initiatives.
These messages are used across the marketing tactics and ensure common themes and
messages throughout a campaign or plan.
A Strategic Marketing Approach
For Contemporary Consulting Firms
BY SARAH SKIDMORE